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Kusal Perera's position a headache --   Letter from Sangakkara


Kusal Perera's position a headache -- 
Letter from Sangakkara

Accomplished batsman Kumar Sangakkara has directed a letter to newspapers stating that the position in which Kusal Perera in the Sri Lanka cricket team is placed in the batting line up poses a problem. His letter is as follows:

"The world cup cricket tournament which is directed by international cricket council commenced in an environment where most cricket experts assume that the world cup this time would be clinched by
hosts England team. The reason I assume that England is at the top in the list as the winning team from among the four in the topmost positions could be observed from exemplary skills of play they displayed against South Africa. South Africa is not a weak side. Truly, there are really good players in their team who can bring them victory in matches. But that team becomes a serious challenge to some teams who display ability in showing alround skills of the highest category armed with a fully-fledged set of players. 

When focusing attention on Sri Lanka, my heart skips a beat. I wish that our team would build up a strength composed of a collective effort. But four teams which would show the highest capabilities at the start of this tournament are England, India, Australia, New Zealand and the West Indies only. We noted the manner in which the West Indies played on Friday. They started with their fast bowlers bowling at the highest speed in an attacking manner which certainly was indeed eye-catching. It is also happy to note Audrey Russel joining them once more in international one-dayers. If he is totally fit ... he has the potential of brightening up proceedings with both bat and ball. 

Sri Lanka showed only a normal game of cricket in the warm-up sessions. Though it was not bad; when considering the present one-day games, ir was not a satisfactory mode of exhibition as such. A stability in their batting was to be seen. Particularly, the manner in which Dimuth (Karunaratna) went about collecting his runs is something pleasant to note. Just as much as he is a new captain with very few international one-day cricket experience in recent times he came to the forefront with the bat at the beginning ... it is necessary that he takes leadership in the fielding aspect and should be strategic and adroit. Kusal Mendis, Angelo Matthews and Thisara Perera are players on whom hopes could be pinned. Isuru Udana has discipline coupled with self-confidence, while both Nuwan Pradeep and Suranga Lakmal have transformed into bowlers who could reap devastating results with the new ball. 

On the other hand, what I see as the biggest headache is Kusal Perera coming to occupy the crease at No. 3 position. In my personal opinion is that I believe that Kusal Perera should not play at No. 3 and would very much prefer if he sent to face the bowling at No. 5 position like Joss Butler comes to the crease for England according to the progress of the game. Just as much as nothing more than is necessary should be cut and chopped in the team ... management of the Sri Lankan team ought arrive at a decision in this respect soon. 

Another aspect that our team should take to heart is spin bowling. Though stability of Jeevan Mendis is apparent, he has reached nowhere close to what is expected by the management in the case of Geoffrey Vandersay. This then becomes a matter of great disappointment because one method where hard-hitting batsmen in present-day international one-day matches could be stopped on their tracks because spin bowlers are capable in clinching their wickets. Therefore, spin bowlers should carry out this duty. 

Unfortunately, we gave a very poor display of the game at the start of the tournament in the match against New Zealand. Apart from Dimuth who displayed as being engaged in a determined game, I became highly disappointed with other batsmen who wielded their bat. At the same time, we were wae that the New Zealand side was well organised for the game and that their batting attack was full of strength. But what I thought was that they would hammer the bowling even better and would reach somewhere close upon 250 runs. 

Though we won the game against Afghanistan the game against Bangladesh and all the rest of the matches will not be easy for us. The Bangladesh team engaged in a marvellous game against South Africa last Sunday played at the Oval. They have now turned out to be a very reserved and experienced team.

What is significant in this context is to get together as a team once more and go ahead by making out plans, game by game. If we are able to make a win in in the next match, it would boost our confidence in a big measure. India is a team that is extraordinarily equipped with strength and are well-balanced. Their biggest strength lies on their acumen of fat bowlers led by Jasprit Bumra. The best fast bowler in the international cricket arena today is Bumra. The speed of Hardik Pandya, his swing and his alround capabilities have been a blessing to him. Apart from the first warm-up game, with experience of their great batting has strengthened them. Mahendra Singh Dhoni and L. Rahul including others have contributed towards it. Main strategies will be introduced most clearly to dismiss Rohith Sharma and Virat (Kohli) by a rival team. In such a case, I believe that two slip fielders and a gully player will be installed and a ball will be delivered a little away from the off side wicket because Kohli has displayed a small weakness from each such aspect when facing the ball. But nevertheless Kohli is a highly skilled and clever batsman. As for these reasons he will be prepared to face these circumstances. 

-- Kumar Sangakkara --   


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